Monday, April 20, 2009

Sailing and the 10-10 Challenge

We have just issued a challenge to the staff at The Bridge-Hot Springs based on an article in Leadership Magazine, 10-10. We are challenging them to spend 10 minutes a day in prayer, 10 minutes a day in the Bible, pray for 10 people to be saved, and be involved in a small group with 10 other people. In a world where the average Pastor does not pray or read their Bible daily, wouldn't it be awesome if we had an entire staff that became committed to setting aside time to be with Jesus?

John Maxwell says that the way to grow an organization is to grow the people, and the way to grow the people is to grow yourself. As a staff we are committed to starting at home. We are growing ourselves first.

God has given us a vision for The Bridge - Hot Springs, a Five Digit Vision, but that will only happen as we prepare ourselves for the moving of the Spirit. Louie Giglio said, on a Catalyst Podcast, that his job, as the leader of Passion, was to "keep the sails up". He said there are two ways to move a boat, you can paddle yourself to death or you can put up the sails. Putting up the sales is both easier and faster. The Bible says that no man can see the wind, and no one knows where it comes from or where it's going, but we can see the effects of it. In other words, if we can keep the sails up on the boat, we may not know the future, but we can be assured that the Wind will carry us there.

This year, through this 10-10 vision we are putting up the sails. We are saying to God, we cannot go where you are taking us without you. I challenge you, leaders, pastors, staff, saints, put up the sails. When the wind is blowing hold on for a great ride, when it's not, stop and fish! Whatever you do, DO NOT TOUCH THE OARS!!!

Happy Sailing!

God Bless!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Circles by Deidre Turner

My wonderful wife sent me this e-mail today. I have to post it, I hope it brings some light on your life...

I live on Spring Street. The same Spring Street in Hot Springs, AR that my parents lived on in 1972 when I was born. I know, I know, what’s remarkable about that? Lots of people live in the same town that they were born, right? Lots of people live in the same town their whole lives. What’s remarkable is that I left. Well, more accurately my parents left 28 years ago. They moved 1,200 miles away to Maryland. I was raised there. I grew up there. There was my home – not this place of southern remote quaintness that I don’t quite get. What I get is right outside of Philly- Delaware bluntness.

You see, I was never coming back here. Graduated from college, got married, moved to Florida 3 years later, had 3 babies, co-pastoring a church, living it out. I was never going to live in Arkansas! Are you kidding me? Then, the bottom fell out and too many events happened to dive into here. God opened a nothing-short-of-miraculous door and - voila! Here I am living on the same street on which I was born. My life has been a great big circle passing from mid-south to north-east to south-east back to mid-south - one big, ironic circle.

Since this, I’ve started noticing circles everywhere. No, not the geometric shape, but circles of life (My apologies to the Lion King.) We originate with God, in the unknown cosmos of eternity and galaxy and infiniteness, and are born into these little fragile, earth bodies. From our first breaths, we want to GO! We learn to roll, scoot, crawl, walk and then RUN. We go to school then go to college then go out on our own then go to work, all under the illusion that we are really going anywhere at all. We all work so hard to try to forget that the finish line is right back at the starting point - with God, in the unknown cosmos of eternity and galaxy and infiniteness. Life is a circle. Some circles are large. Other circles are way too short, like my cousin Frog’s and my friend Annette’s. They both passed this year - both from cancer - both in their 30’s - both circles way too short.

So, what’s the point? The point is to get rid of the illusion - to get our heads out of the sand. If the end is the beginning, then run in your circle with that full realization. Enjoy every minute of it. Squeeze every ounce of life and joy and love out of it. Live your dreams. Seize the day. But always, always remember your Maker. Live so that when that finish line comes into view it doesn’t frighten you. Be prepared for that day. That day will come, your circle will be complete, and you’ll be back where you started from.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Easter, The Bridge, Anniversaries and Life

I am sitting at my computer in Little Rock working feverishly, but thoughts are flooding my mind about life and where we are right now.

As a country, we are facing the greatest recession/depression we have ever known, according the news, worse than even the Great Depression. The foreclosure rate has skyrocketed, unemployment is rising daily, the Stock Market has plummeted and is showing no sign of recovery, and people are feeling the credit squeeze. But in the middle of all of that I feel an anticipation, an excitement, that this is the greatest hour for the church.

We are seeing the greatest need ever in the world, and we have the greatest answer! As we approach this season of great joy and celebration of the Resurrection let us not forget that we too have been resurrected, from death to life.

I am going to be challenging the Bridge this Easter Sunday, our 1 Year Anniversary, to pursue everything God has promised. Chase the dreams, hold fast to the faith, for we have a hope that is greater than this world.

II Cor. 4:8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

We have been placed in challenging times so we may manifest, or show the life of Jesus in us! Wow! The purpose for everything you are going through is so you can show the world who Jesus is IN you!

So hold on, lift up your head, it ain't over 'till God says it's over!